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CAS Number:
For the medical termination of intrauterine pregnancy through 49 days' pregnancy. Also indicated to control hyperglycemia secondary to hypercortisolism in adult patients with endogenous Cushing's syndrome who have type 2 diabetes mellitus or glucose intolerance.
Mode of Action:

The anti-progestational activity of mifepristone results from competitive interaction with progesterone at progesterone-receptor sites. Based on studies with various oral doses in several animal species (mouse, rat, rabbit and monkey), the compound inhibits the activity of endogenous or exogenous progesterone. The termination of pregnancy results. In the treatment of Cushing's syndrome, Mifepristone blocks the binding of cortisol to its receptor. It does not decrease cortisol production but reduces the effects of excess cortisol, such as high blood sugar levels.


Mifepristone is a synthetic steroid with antiprogestational effects indicated for the medical termination of intrauterine pregnancy through 49 days' pregnancy. Doses of 1 mg/kg or greater of mifepristone have been shown to antagonize the endometrial and myometrial effects of progesterone in women. During pregnancy, the compound sensitizes the myometrium to the contraction-inducing activity of prostaglandins. Mifepristone also exhibits antiglucocorticoid and weak antiandrogenic activity. The activity of the glucocorticoid dexamethasone in rats was inhibited following doses of 10 to 25 mg/kg of mifepristone. Doses of 4.5 mg/kg or greater in human beings resulted in a compensatory elevation of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol.


Hepatic. Hepatic, by Cytochrome P450 3A4 isoenzyme to the N-monodemethylated metabolite (RU 42 633); RU 42 698, which results from the loss of two methyl groups from position 11 beta; and RU 42 698, which results from terminal hydroxylation of the 17_propynyl chain.


Nearly all of the women who receive mifepristone will report adverse reactions, and many can be expected to report more than one such reaction. About 90% of patients report adverse reactions following administration of misoprostol on day three of the treatment procedure. Side effects include more heavy bleeding than a heavy manstrual period, abdominal pain, uterine cramping, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

(10S, 11S, 14S, 15S, 17R)-17-[4-(dimethylamino)phenyl]-14-hydroxy-15-methyl-14-(prop-1-yn-1-yl)tetracyclo[, {2, 7}.0, {11, 15}]heptadeca-1, 6-dien-5-one
DB00834 (APRD00432)
Molecular Mass:
Mifepriston Mifepristona [Spanish] Mifepristonum [Latin] RU486
General Reference:
General Reference:

  1. Fiala C, Gemzel-Danielsson K: Review of medical abortion using mifepristone in combination with a prostaglandin analogue. Contraception. 2006 Jul;74(1):66-86. Epub 2006 May 19. Pubmed
  2. Heikinheimo O, Kekkonen R, Lahteenmaki P: The pharmacokinetics of mifepristone in humans reveal insights into differential mechanisms of antiprogestin action. Contraception. 2003 Dec;68(6):421-6. Pubmed
  3. Chabbert-Buffet N, Meduri G, Bouchard P, Spitz IM: Selective progesterone receptor modulators and progesterone antagonists: mechanisms of action and clinical applications. Hum Reprod Update. 2005 May-Jun;11(3):293-307. Epub 2005 Mar 24. Pubmed
  4. Spitz IM, Bardin CW, Benton L, Robbins A: Early pregnancy termination with mifepristone and misoprostol in the United States. N Engl J Med. 1998 Apr 30;338(18):1241-7. Pubmed
  5. Piaggio G, von Hertzen H, Heng Z, Bilian X, Cheng L: Meta-analyses of randomized trials comparing different doses of mifepristone in emergency contraception. Contraception. 2003 Dec;68(6):447-52. Pubmed

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